We have just found out that prolific writer, producer, director, documentary maker and pseudoscientific genius Alan Landsburg died on August 13th. We are desolate.
Landsburg worked for Time Life and National Geographic; he worked with Jacques Cousteau; he worked with Leonard Nimoy. He wrote a dozen books and gave us over 2,000 hours of edutainment, including around fifty television films including ‘Tarantula: Deadly Cargo’, ‘The Savage Bees’, ‘Burned At The Stake’ and ‘Mysterious Island of Beautiful Women’.
He was a hero to us because he KNEW that the Earth is an even weirder place than it already appears: place where the ancient past and the distant future are inextricably linked, where ghosts are real, where mysterious animals roam the uncharted wildernesses of the world, where aliens pop by whenever they feel like it, where the human mind can kill or cure or set something on fire, where nature is always one step away from utterly engulfing civilisation - and because Landsburg KNEW this, his greatest work starts with the premise that the weirdest answer is always right then works backwards, pouncing on every scrap of evidence as justification for his faith.
His most famous show, ‘In Search Of…’ might as well have been called ‘Ipso fucking Facto’, so eager is it to present theory as reality - and reality as something that is infinitely complex and utterly bizarre. As you might expect, that had an enormous influence on our world view.
Rest in peace, dear Alan. You’ll have all the answers by now, we hope you’re not disappointed.